By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor
29 year-old Sarah Scott (Guy's Racing) of Philadelphia was involved in a serious crash while racing in the Martinsburg race of the women's category 4 points series of the 2005 Tour de Toona. The crash left her a paraplegic, paralysing her from the waist down.
Scott was in her first year of racing, having only started riding the previous fall. "I moved here the end of May 2004, the same weekend as the Wachovia race, and it caught me," Scott told Cyclingnews. "I bought my first road bike in October and the Philly Classic was my first race, I got dropped immediately, but I knew it going in. I was just learning everything."
Scott was racing in Altoona to gain more road racing experience when she crashed in a hard left turn onto Rt. 866 in the Martinsburg circuit race. Officials immediately notified the medical personnel on sight. "I remember going around the turn and the next thing I knew there was an EMT next to me," Scott said. "They really did a great job." Once the extent of the injuries were realized a helicopter was ordered and Scott was air-lifted to the nearest trauma center.
"Regarding the injury, the first thing I want everyone to know, is that my life was saved by my helmet - I am very grateful and happy to be alive. I am what is called a complete paraplegic now, meaning I have no feeling or movement from the waist down."
Scott is keeping a positive outlook towards her recovery and her continued involvement with cycling. "I want to stay a part of cycling as much as possible, I dearly love it no matter what. I've already learned about hand-cycling." Helping her through this time are her friends from the local cycling community. "My team is awesome. Today I got two bouquets! They are a wonderful bunch of guys. Cadence Cycling in Manayunk has been amazing too."
While medical costs will surely be extremely high, financial support structures are still being created. More information on this will be reported as soon as it is available. "[The doctors] say I will be here four to six weeks. But the key to rehab is to keep showing effort and to stay as long as you can."
Everyone at Cyclingnews extends their support to Sarah as she recovers and rehabilitates. "I feel like every day I make progress," Scott said. "I hope to be sitting in a wheelchair by the end of the week."
You can email Sarah with messages of support at email@example.com.